Gallery education

One of the 'traditional' ways that artists can earn a living is working in a gallery education programme.

Gallery education programmes mostly - but not exclusively - run in publicly funded spaces and are a way for the gallery to engage with their audiences through talks, workshops, residencies or other public projects.

engage is the national association of gallery education, providing information, advice, resources, support and networking opportunities for artists working in gallery education.

Full information of what gallery education is and how to get work in gallery education is on the engage website.

Artists working with young or disabled people are usually asked by their prospective employers to obtain a Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Usually the employer need to request the check by getting an application form from DBS, then passing it on to the applicant to fill it in and return to them along with documents proving their identity. The new legislation does not allow the self-employed or individuals to apply for a DBS check on themselves; but you can request a basic disclosure. If you are a freelace artist and have been asked to apply for a DBS check you will need to speak to the person who asked you to apply, as you will have to request the DBS check throught them. 

A DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the check was carried out. It is up to an employer to decide if and when a new check is needed. If you have any questions it is always worth calling the office directly.

Some well known London galleries for education workshops are Camden Arts Centre, Whitechapel Gallery, South London Gallery, Tate and Serpentine.  To find out more, browse our list of galleries and check their websites for details.

See also the interview below with the Young People's Co-ordinator at the South London Gallery:

The audio below is from the Artquest talks programme Self Assembly. Experienced artist educator Cath Hawes talks about working in various educational contexts within the arts world.

This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material.
The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.
Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.